We had a couple of sources of inspiration for our Malaysian challenge. One of Raoul’s colleagues Alicia K gave Raoul some suggestions, including a favourite website of hers. Even though we had a great source to work with, it turned out that another source of inspiration came our way.
On the Friday night before our Malaysian cook-off, Raoul and I went for dinner with our dear friends Di and Pete to Penang Coffee House, a stalwart Malaysian restaurant in Hawthorn. As well as being a great evening, it gave us some very good, hands-on inspiration for our menu!
We started with some murtabak — delicious little meat-filled envelopes. Interestingly, you make the dough and then let it sit in a small amount of cooking oil at room temperature for a couple of hours. This seemed to help make it very smooth and pliable. The link to the recipe (by a food blogger in the US) has good instructions and photos. Highly recommend these! Fun and pretty easy to make, and they went down a treat!
We served a few dishes to share for the main meal. We made beef rendang, cooked slowly for about two hours and delicious. Our new food processor made making the curry paste so much easier too!
We also made char kuey teow. You really need a super super hot wok to get the very authentic charred taste for this one. Our wok and stove are pretty good, and it was very tasty, but we didn’t quite get the taste we wanted. Mind you, Spiro and Raoul happily took the leftovers for lunch the next day.
For dessert, we made kuih ketayap — green crepes! These crepes are flavoured and coloured with pandan flavouring. They are filled with sugary, toasted coconut and drizzled with maple syrup for serving. While our crepes weren’t particularly thin and delicate—in fact, they were quite chunky!—they were deliciously sweet and syrupy. Just wish we had had some vanilla ice cream to go with them.
Next week to Morocco with Alicia and Spiro. Really excited for this one.